Opinions are okay

365 Days Blogging – 3 of 365
Handstand Push-up’s – Worked on 5 Tibetans + physical therapy
Dinner with friends – 0 of 12
Words of Fiction written – 0

During this political season it’s tough to avoid opinions. For someone like me who is highly averse to conflict this can be tricky.

I used to think that all opinions were valid and people were entitled to their own ideas. As I watch the news, comedians and the candidates themselves manipulate data and statistics it becomes clear that not all opinions are valid. Forming an opinion based on flawed or even misleading data points creates an invalid opinion.

The sad truth is that people smarter than me (Politifact, Snopes and Factcheck.org) are working to expose the misinformation but it’s facts be damned for many people with strong opinions. This can make for some difficult and awkward conversations/arguments for those of us with a live and let live attitude.

What I’ve come to believe is that if I don’t share my opinions, when asked, I don’t have enough conviction in my thought process. As a result of this lack of conviction, a conversation may help me strengthen my understanding of a topic. In other words, refusing to form and discuss an opinion is as ignorant as forming one based on bad data.

I’m not going to jump directly into politics, but I want to share a few opinions that I’ve spent some time thinking about.

  • Our national approach to schooling is broken ~ From Kindergarten through Undergraduate degree our education system is generally outdated. There are amazing teachers and individuals who interact with students everyday, but they are constrained by a system focuses on conformity.
  • Term limits for politicians (with emeritus status for one extra term) ~ Career politicians are a bad thing. No one person should hold office for more than 10 years. I see some value in an emeritus position for a powerful organizer to teach the next term of lawmakers how to get things done but that’s not a career either.
  • Climate change is real ~ Calling it global warming was a colossal PR mistake. Weather patterns are changing and whenever it’s cooler than we are accustomed, critics use short term data to debunk a long term issue. I think we can address climate change as a species, but it’s a global issue and we’ll face more consequences before anything happens.
  • There are other intelligent creatures in the universe ~ I don’t like precious snowflake theories. The size of the universe is beyond my comprehension and I think the conditions for life had to have occurred more than once.

These are some of my opinions. I open to discussing them rationally and even willing to change them, but not just because you shout louder than me.

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